Fireplace remodels are extremely popular—in part because they markedly change the appearance of any room you put one on. Some of these fireplace remodels are simple and involve minimal changes to the fireplace. Others involve a complete overhaul.

A fireplace can be the focal point for your room. Photo by Judy Stokely.

Factory-built fireplaces are becoming popular because they are inexpensive and easy to install. They are highly efficient, and some of them are even equipped with fans and vents to move heat from the fireplace and to other parts of the house. Most factory-built fireplaces have the capacity to use gas, wood or electricity. The type of fuel determines whether you need a chimney or not. Fireplaces that utilize high output gas or wood require a tall chimney that goes up through the roof. This kind of chimney needs a double-walled flue. A fireplace that uses gas (propane or natural gas), it will be far more efficient than a wood fireplace and can be vented through a nearby wall. A chimney is not required. The logs used in gas fireplaces are now extremely realistic and efficient. This makes them a good choice for a fireplace remodel. They also eliminate the mess and work involved with  a wood fireplace. Such fireplaces require a gas line, which can be installed without difficulty by a skilled plumber.

The fireplaces in many newly built homes use either wood or gas. When the homeowner burns wood, the gas line can be used to start the fire instantly. If gas is used exclusively, ceramic gas logs are used to create the look of a wood fire.

Factory-built fireplaces that use electric heat are another source of fireplace heating. In such fireplaces, there is no need for venting; the fireplace is just plugged in. The fire is less realistic than other fireplaces, but it will provide heat.

There are factory-built fireplaces that insert into an existing firebox. In this case, the existing surround can be remodeled if so desired.

A factory-built fireplace can be a good option even if you are planning a large remodel for your home. There can be a huge cost savings in installation and construction, and you will have a fireplace that works efficiently.